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Not long ago, Kim and I visited one of Kim’s long-time (as in since elementary school) friends. Our time with Kim’s friend was actually spent at her friend’s parents’ house, and the parents are long-time, card carrying, meeting-going atheists (yes, atheists have meetings). In fact, the couple even attends a Unitarian church, not for the “religious” aspect, but for the community aspect. The Unitarian church, they tell me, was the only church that would accept and validate their belief—or non-belief—system.
I have to admit that during our entire stay, I was pleasantly surprised and amazed at the family’s incredible hospitality. They were loving, fun, considerate, and if I hadn’t known better, I would have assumed they were Christians.
At one point, they handed me an atheist newsletter, which was interesting to review. Most of the articles were more of a political nature, and there was plenty of self-affirming, “why it’s good to be an atheist” content. There was even a review of Lee Strobel’s Case for a Creator. The review mostly centered on reaffirming why atheists are right and all deists are wrong without really discussing the content of the book, but it was an interesting read, nonetheless. The newsletter even included a sarcastic cartoon of Jesus and Mo(hommad) lying in bed together.
As I reviewed the newsletter and spent time with this family, I couldn’t help but wonder: is this how people see us as Christians in the Christian culture? Do we rant and rave and take political stances on why it’s so good to be a Christian? Do we deeply understand our own worldview and the impact that the Living God has made and is making on mankind? Most importantly, can we walk in another man’s shoes long enough to identify their worldview and help them recognize that Christ’s church is also a safe place to bring your atheist worldview?
What I realized by the end of our stay is that these dear people just wanted to find community with people who would love and accept them, and I know no one who loves and accepts more than Jesus Christ Himself. As I reviewed the newsletter and spent time with this family, I couldn’t help but wonder: is this how people see us as Christians in the Christian culture? Do we rant and rave and take political stances on why it’s so good to be a Christian? Do we deeply understand our own worldview and the impact that the Living God has made and is making on mankind? Most importantly, can we walk in another man’s shoes long enough to identify their worldview and help them recognize that Christ’s church is also a safe place to bring your atheist worldview?
So, I ask, how do we, as believers, deal with nonbelievers? Are we afraid of them? Are we afraid that we’ll get into a fight with them? Are we hesitant to speak the truth because there might be an argument? Sometimes we don’t understand the Christian worldview enough, and so when we’re challenged, we want to flee from the situation. Don’t.
I had the opportunity to dialog with this family and have some great conversation because neither of us was threatened by the other’s beliefs. No, they didn’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior right then and there, but I shared the truth of Christ’s love and salvation with them and continue to pray for them. So, I encourage you to see things from others’ perspectives and understand where they’re belief system is founded. Only then will you have an open and honest door to share the Gospel message.
About Michael Stickler
Michael Stickler is a highly gifted author, philanthropist, horseman and internationally sought-after conference speaker. His all-time bestselling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the Principal of Leadership Books and writes for many international publications.
His 2017 best seller, Cliven Bundy American Patriot, reveals the truth of what is known as the “Bunkerville Stand Off.”
And, now his 2019 book Life Without Reservation, is charging up the best sellers list! For the first time in his long career he is working on his first fiction book Ghost Patriot to be release in 2021.
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